Our lives these days are intertwined with our digital devices, for good or for ill. That includes adolescent romantic and sexual relationships of all kinds — happy, tragic, mutual, one-sided, healthy, abusive. And experts say that rather than being shocked to find that kids are sexting, we should instead be talking about it from an early age, just as we should about other aspects of their developing sense of their sexual identities.
What teenagers wish their parents knew about sexting
Let’s talk about sexting
There are many reasons why children exchange explicit messages. There are other reasons why children sext. Many of these motives conform to those that inspire other teenage behaviours.
Most teens today are comfortable with documenting their lives online. Posting photos, updating their status messages, sharing rapid-fire texts, and being a click away from friends are the new normal for teens. But this "always on" culture also creates an environment where teens can make impulsive decisions that can come back to haunt them. One example of this has been in the news a lot lately: sexting. When people take and send sexually revealing pictures of themselves or send sexually explicit messages via text message, it's called "sexting. Kids "sext" to show off, to entice someone, to show interest in someone, or to prove commitment. Sending these pictures or messages is problematic enough, but the real challenge comes when this content is shared broadly.
Through use of social media, texting, and videos, most teens are comfortable using technology to make plans, establish friendships, and engage in romantic relationships. Gone are the days, for most phone users, of even having to worry about how often and how much they are talking to someone; so many phone plans are unlimited, the better for getting to know one another! Modern teens can connect in an instant and from the comfort of their own bedrooms. Enter sexting. Sexting is sending sexually explicit messages, photos, or videos via any digital device. It can include nudity, messages that discuss sex acts, or content simulating sex acts.